MONTCLARION: March 11, 2011
Rebecca Faiola wants to take a bite out of crime — canine crime. As a mother, musician and neighborhood activist, she’s pushing for tougher laws for dangerous dogs in the wake of a fatal pit bull attack on a pet in her neighborhood.
“We are committed to seeing this through,” says Faiola, “and helping to make all of our neighborhoods safe.” Faiola and others have been meeting with Councilwoman Jane Brunner and Animal Control Director Megan Webb to draft new legislation for Oakland. She says the “law” will be ready soon and they’ll come to dog owners for support.
In the meantime, “the biggest thing we learned is to report any dog that is out of their yard,” says Faiola, “and all attacks — even if they are ‘no-contact’ threats.” This will start a record on an animal that will help in the wake of another offense.
It’s a hot-button topic with readers, not all of whom see pit bulls as a threat.
“My pit is a purebred lap dog (about 100 pounds) we’ve had since a puppy,” writes Lois Johnson, who says she wants to be able to walk her dog without scaring people. “Education is important regarding stereotypical images of these dogs, which can be the most loving.”
Meanwhile, it’s a Doberman that worries dog owner Kathleen Witt — who’s been attacked twice by the same animal.
“After the second attack in Redwood Park, I was left with four stitches, three badly bruised ribs, an extreme case of poison oak and severe trauma,” she writes. Five years later, she’s still nervous about walking her dog in public and the Doberman, she says, is still living with its elderly owners.
How do you feel about Oakland’s dog laws? Take the Town Crier poll at www.ginnyprior.com, and I’ll share the results next week.
TOOL TIME: Is there a push broom taking up room in your garage? Perhaps a pruner or trowel? The Montclair Village Association is collecting old implements to help volunteers groom the Montclair Railroad Trail into and out of the Village. If you can help with a tool or two, Bank of the West and Sarber’s Cameras are the drop-off locations.
MOTHER’S LOVE: A little bird tells me it’s Robin Azzalina’s birthday. You all know her — she’s the gregarious clerk at the Montclair Safeway who has logged 35 years at the grocery chain. Robin’s mom, Socorro McManis, says her daughter turns 54 on March 16 and she’s not only a great gal — she’s an expert baker who makes a mean pumpkin bar and a tasty raspberry crisp. Stop by and wish Robin a happy birthday — and maybe she’ll give you a “sample.”
DYNAMIC DUO: Like Rogers and Astaire, Hills historian Lisa Brenkman is working with archivist Jean Cunningham to add music to her collection of Ice Follies costumes and memorabilia. After my article on Brenkman’s endeavors, Cunningham contacted me to say that as head of the Paramount Theatre Music Library, she has Follies music from 1947 through the ’50s and beyond. The result of this match could be an elaborate evening of dance and live music celebrating one of San Francisco’s iconic shows — the Shipstads & Johnson Ice Follies.
SQUAWK TALK: In a continuing effort to connect you with nature, here’s a tip for teaching your wild raven to talk. After you’ve bonded with the bird in your yard, calmly introduce a word or phrase. “Nevermore” is a favorite, but you may want to start with “hello.” If the bird seems to be saying something else, repeat it and see if the raven mimics you. Readers who have tried this are now having meaningful conversations with their new feathered friends.